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This penultimate Perry Mason TV-on-DVD set isn't the show's grandest hour, but it will certainly thrill Raymond Burr fans...
Paramount / 1965-1966 / 776 Minutes / Unrated / Street Date: June 11, 2013
First, the bad news. Paramount still insists upon splitting up season-by-season releases of catalog shows like Perry Mason (we've been down this road before). Yes, a compilation like this one offers hours and hours of Raymond Burr magic, but the advent of DVD allowed us to expect to be able to marathon through a season of a show without hesitation or interruption: this is not available here.
On to the show itself: as was the case with previous TV-on-DVD Perry Mason releases, everything here is reliably, predictably entertaining. This isn't whip-smart television - I don't know that any of the episodes on this release could be considered full-tilt classics - but Perry Mason is the kind of gold standard that allows for fun, stirring courtroom fare even at its most obviously auto-pilot.
Some of the episodes included here veer from unconvincing to wholly unbelievable – we get installments with lusty titles like The Case of the Fugitive Fraulein and The Case of the Fatal Fortune - but there's no denying Perry Mason's innate, irresistible charms. Nine years in, the show still crackles with well-oiled precision, lending even its most outlandish moments a hefty, rewarding feel. Perry Mason may not hit home runs every time, but you can definitely rely on Raymond and pals to at least score a base hit with every at-bat.